Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Monday, August 29, 2016

School of Life Monday
"What Art Museums Are For"

Art museums have never been more popular but the question of what they’re really for remains pertinent. You might also want to take a look at our online museum:

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Saturday, August 27, 2016

How the New York Public Library made ebooks open, and thus one trillion times better

from Boing Boing:

Leonard Richardson isn't just the author of Constellation Games, one of the best debut novels I ever read and certainly one of the best books I read in 2013; he's also an extremely talented free/open source server-software developer who has been working for the New York Public Library on a software project that liberates every part of the electronic book lending system from any kind of proprietary lock-in, and, in the process, made reading library ebooks one trillion times better.

Richardson explained his project in exciting detail at Restfest 2015 in Greenville, SC in a talk called "The Enterprise Media Distribution Platform At The End Of This Book," and has posted his talk slides along with notes to his site. I've been discussing Leonard's ideas in light of the proposal for an open library ebook platform that I made in Locus magazine this past spring. Both of us see a nonprofit, mission-oriented infrastructure for ebooks as critical to serving patrons best while protecting their privacy.

Richardson's talk makes the point that in the age of the web, we had hypertext that acted like, well, hypertext. Lots of people contributed to the web in lots of ways, and all those ways joined up, more or less painlessly. In the age of the app, that is virtually unheard of, and when it does occur -- as when Netflix and Twitter opened up APIs that turned into flourishing hothouses of third-party innovation -- it gets shut down without warning and with extreme prejudice.

Richardson's system actually works: they're using it in NYPL and many affiliated libraries. It makes reading ebooks from the library one trillion times better, and it lets anyone improve it, at anywhere in the stack -- it lets commercial suppliers play, too, but prevents them from locking libraries, publishers or readers in. It is a model of how mission-driven public agencies and nonprofits can be truly game-changing in online ecosystems that have been dominated by a single, monolithic corporation.
I'm going to start you off slow. Remember that there are three main vendors in the library ebook space. We did deals with two of them. Now that we've got the middleware in place, we can do a deal with the third vendor. We can license books from a third source without having to tell our patrons to install app #4 on their phones.

Okay, that's nothing to do with OPDS. Any kind of middleware would allow that sort of integration.

But then we decide we also want to offer Project Gutenberg books to our patrons. Unfortunately Project Gutenberg does not have an API. They have this ugly system where you have to use rsync to mirror the ebooks and then pull the metadata from a big RDF document.

So I write a simple content server, which rsyncs the ebooks and pulls the metadata and then offers a collection that is the equal, in quantity if not in quality, of the commercial collections. But instead of making up a custom API for my collection to talk to the middleware, the way the commercial vendors did, I use the API I already have—OPDS.

So now I'm using OPDS for machine-to-machine integration, not just to talk to the patrons. I can use this protocol whenever I am talking about books or collections of books.

Now other sources of free ebooks want to get in on the action. is mostly an aggregator for Creative Commons books and other open-access books that aren't a hundred years old. Standard Ebooks is a little org that makes really nice editions of public domain ebooks, because Project Gutenberg ebooks have really horrible formatting.

So I told those people: you generate OPDS feeds, and I'll slurp them up into my content server, they'll show up in our collection and patrons will be able to download them. And that's what they did. I haven't set up my part of it yet, the part that slurps, because I haven't had time, but it's going to work.

At that point the OPDS protocol is doing machine-to-machine integration across organizational boundaries. It's hypermedia API heaven!

The Enterprise Media Distribution Platform At The End Of This Book [Leonard Richardson/Crummy]

Friday, August 26, 2016

Riot Grrrl: Allison Wolfe of Bratmobile talks about zines, feminism and her new band, Sex Stains

from Dangerous Minds:

Photo by Conor Collins


Allison Wolfe, iconic 90s riot grrrl and Bratmobile member hasn’t stopped playing music since their break up in the early 2000s. In fact, she has gone on to be in several other bands such as Cold Cold Hearts, Partyline, Deep Lust, Cool Moms and most recently Sex Stains (whose debut album comes out September 2nd.)

I chatted with Wolfe about her new band as well as zines, Bratmobile, being a 90s female musician and an inspirational feminist.

Before Allison Wolfe and Molly Neuman started Bratmobile, they had a riot grrrl fanzine called Girl Germs:

“Molly and I met in the dorms at the University of Oregon. We weren’t in the same room but we shared a wall and we would knock on the walls. We became best friends and started plotting to do all of these things. We were fairly young girls who were getting politicized who wanted to have a voice and participate. We really wanted to have a girl programmed radio show but it turned out that the University of Oregon didn’t have a college radio so I think Tobi Vail encouraged us to do a fanzine. We started the fanzine before we started playing music or did the band. It was a good way to have a voice when we didn’t have any other means at the time. We didn’t really know what we were doing but it was fun. Our first issue had an interview with Calamity Jane. It had scene reports and a lot of it was a reaction to grunge which had completely taken over the Northwest and was too male dominated. We wanted to have a girly voice.”

Photo by Pat Graham


From there they began travelling to Olympia often to hang out. “We were a band in theory. We had been travelling up to Olympia on weekends and telling everyone we were in a band called Bratmobile.”

Calvin Johnson called them and told them he had set up a show for Valentine’s Day 1991 and wanted them to play with Bikini Kill. At this point they were not truly a band so they had to scramble to get songs together. “We went to our friend Robert Christie and were like ‘What do we do?’ He loaned us his practice space and let us use their equipment and but we didn’t know how to write songs. He said to listen to a bunch of Ramones records but I thought if all bands listen to the Ramones in order to start bands then I wouldn’t and I vowed to never listen to them which isn’t exactly accurate but I never owned any Ramones records or listened to them that much.”

Allison said she listen to a lot of female rap and hip hop before the band started such as Salt n’ Pepa, Yo Yo, Bytches with Problems, TLC and others. “That was a big influence on us, all these really awesome, kinda goofy but politicized women in rap and hip hop that weren’t commercialized yet. It was more politicized. They had messages that were pretty important. Also, the first Batman movie had come out and Prince did the soundtrack and the Batmobile was an influence on us naming the band Bratmobile.” Their first show, which was just her and Molly at the time, was pretty much a capella. “There was a little bit of guitar and drums going on but not much… We jumped off stage and Kurt Cobain walked in right then and I walked up to him and said ‘You missed us!’ and handed him one of our fanzines.”



At the time, most female bands were lumped into the category of riot grrrl while only a select few actually were. For example, true riot grrrls were Bikini Kill, Huggy Bear, Bratmobile and Heavens to Betsy while L7, Babes in Toyland, 7 Year Bitch and Hole were not. “Their music was different and they were doing a different thing and they certainly never called themselves riot grrrls. This was pre-internet and everything was so much more regional then. The riot grrrl network was based on who knew who and who hung out with who, which was based in Olympia or in DC whereas those bands didn’t live in any of those places. That whole division was really mostly created by the media. People listen to the public record and the public record is a bunch of lazy journalists who couldn’t think of anything else than to throw all women into riot grrrl. It was irresponsible and lazy and inaccurate and it turned us against each other when in fact each mixtape I made had a song by one of those bands on it. We all respected and like each other. I was pen pals a bit with Kat (Bjelland) and went to 7 Year Bitch shows when I could.”

In the late 90s a lot of the riot grrrl bands were breaking up. Wolfe that was hard because “it felt like it left a big hole.” However, she says “A lot of young women in punk and indie music were inspired by riot grrrl or awesome 90s musicians like 7 Year Bitch, Babes in Toyland, PJ Harvey and L7. That moved things forward a bit.”

Wolfe is also responsible for the creation of Ladyfest (a music festival that is still very popular today and happens in many different cities) which first occurred in Olympia in 2000.

“It stemmed from this riot grrrl gathering that had been organized by the EMP (Experience Music Project) who were about to start their museum in Seattle. They had approached me and asked if I would help them get former riot grrrls together to do an oral history. That was the first time a lot of us formal riot grrrls had been together in the same room and we just talked about riot grrrls. There was such a backlash at the end, everyone was trying to separate themselves from it or move beyond it. It was the first time we felt we could be together and talked about what had happened, but also feel validated. Out of that gathering I started talking with Corin Tucker a bit about how we were all still doing cool things separately and if there was somehow we could harness those old riot grrrl energies and do something together. I thought Olympia in 2000 would be the perfect place and statement.”

Photo by Debi del Grande


Today Wolfe is focusing her attention on Sex Stains. The band formed in LA when Allison kept getting asked to play in tribute nights. “I met various members of Sex Stains through those tribute nights. For each one, they were the person at those tribute nights that really stood out to me.” The band is made up of five members including Mecca Vazie Andrews, Sharif Dumani, Pachy Garcia and David Orlando. “I really wanted to be in a band with two lead singers.” Their record release show is September 4th at The Echo in LA. The album is being released by Don Giovanni Records. “They were the only label we approached. It just seemed like a good fit. We love the other bands on the label especially Downtown Boys, Screaming Females and Priests and we wanted to be aligned with other bands we believe in and that were slightly politicized.”



This September, Sex Stains hit the road. Tour dates include:

8/26: Los Angeles, CA @ The Echoplex (FYF Pre-Party show w/ Sheer Mag + Girlpool)

9/4: Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo (ALBUM RELEASE SHOW)

9/13: Brooklyn, NY @ Silent Barn

9/14: Baltimore, MD @ The Windup Space

9/15: Washington, DC @ Comet Ping Pong (w/ Coup Savage & the Snips, Governess)

9/16: Manhattan, NY @ Webster Hall (w/ Downtown Boys)

9/17: Asbury Park, NJ @ The New Alternative Music Festival (Don Giovanni Records)

9/24: Santa Monica, CA @ 18th Street Arts Center Beer and Art Festival

9/27: Los Angeles, CA @ American Legion Hall

10/23: Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo

Bonus video: Bratmobile’s “Eating Toothpaste”


Posted by Izzi Krombholz


Thursday, August 25, 2016

2015 was deadliest year on record
for environmental activists

via Boing Boing

UK-based NGO Global Witness reports that at least 185 environmental activists were murdered last year around the globe, and two-thirds of those were in Latin America. According to the report:
On average, more than three people were killed every week in 2015 - more than double the number of journalists killed in the same period. The worst hit countries were Brazil (50 killings), the Philippines (33) and Colombia (26). Mining was the industry most linked to killings of land and environmental defenders with 42 deaths in 2015. Agribusiness, hydroelectric dams and logging were also key drivers of violence. Many of the murders we know about occurred in remote villages or deep within rainforests – it’s likely the true death toll is far higher. For every killing we are able to document, others cannot be verified, or go unreported. And for every life lost, many more are blighted by ongoing violence, threats and discrimination.
Full report: On Dangerous Ground (pdf Download)

On Dangerous Ground (via Mongabay)

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Seven Anecdotes from a Photographer
of Vanishing Cultures

via Boing Boing

Jimmy Nelson is a legendary photographer of humanity. He shares seven insights gleaned from his 48-year career, each one backed up with an interesting anecdote about how he got better at his craft.

From peeing the bed in a Mongolian tent in the dead of winter, to seeing his own reflection in the eyes of his subjects, Jimmy shares some fascinating tidbits of hard-earned wisdom about art and connecting with others.

7 Lessons I Learnt From Photography (feat. Jimmy Nelson) via Cooperative of Photography

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Some old portraits recently posted to my instagram

Neil Blender early 80's #skateboarding #artist #abstract #alienworkshop #G&S #Tracker #inspiration #integrity

A photo posted by glen E. friedman Ⓥ (@glenefriedman) on

GLENN DANZIG circa 1985. We made this photograph sometime after the MISFITS, between SamHain and the start of Danzig. I don't remember the exact reason for doing this session but perhaps Glenn had contacted me to do it since he was getting ready to go solo? We took this roll at my fathers apartment in Fort Lee, NJ on the floor by the kitchen, there was this little carpeted wall with one of those adjustable drafting table type light fixtures attached to the top, so i was able to point it in just the right way for our photographs. One similar to this was used in my FUCK YOU TOO book. Glenn of course was still living in Lodi, NJ at the time, so it was a simple quick evening. It's definitely my favorite solo "Elvis" portrait i made with him. I guess we used to get along pretty well back then, since i introduced him to Rick Rubin around this time and was helpful in getting Chuck Biscuits to be a part of the new project. #DANZIG #misfits #WeAre138 #Mother #20EyesInMyHead #AllHellBreaksLoose #NewJersey #dirtyJerz

A photo posted by glen E. friedman Ⓥ (@glenefriedman) on

JAM MASTER JAY of Run-DMC (R.I.P.) "Jam Master Jay" Jason Mizell ... Every day without him in this world is our loss. He was a great friend and an awesome talent. The backbone behind Run-DMC, as if you didn't already know. We made this photo the first time i traveled out to Hollis with him back in the fall of 1985. The goal was to shoot RUN-DMC's "photo tour book" for the upcoming "Raising Hell" tour. We did that and more, we got a ton of great stuff this day that you see all over my books... HONOR & RESPECT to the family man, friend, and musician. #jammasterjay #goddamnthatdjmademyday #RUNDMC #rip #friend #DJ #hiphop #integrity #inspiration #oldschool #HollisQueens #NYC #peterpiper #jacksonjaysdick #MyRules #JAYarethelteersofhisname This portrait appears huge in the MY RULES book. In fact Rick Rubin thought it should have been the cover 😬 .

A photo posted by glen E. friedman Ⓥ (@glenefriedman) on

Monday, August 22, 2016

School of Life Monday:

In the course of history, work has gone from being something people only ever did for money to being the source of ultimate meaning, creativity and identity. Satisfying work has become a democratic expectation.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Friday, August 19, 2016

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

One of the Best Explanations
For Why We Haven't Found Alien Life

from Gizmodo

So far, the only examples of sentient life we’ve found are right here on our own planet. It’s not for lack of trying, though—we’ve sent out spacecraft deep into our solar system and, so far, still remain alone. What if the problem isn’t where we are looking, though, but when?

A forthcoming study in Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle looks at the possibility that life as we know it may not require a star similar to our sun but could emerge on planets orbiting much smaller, weaker stars. If we do allow for the possibility of life around non-sunlike stars, then it turns out that the universe is likely to be much more habitable in the distant future than it is today.

“It’s natural for us to think that we are the most common form of life, simply because that’s the only one that we know of,” lead author of the paper, Harvard University’s Avi Loeb, told Gizmodo. “Therefore, people assumed that being next to star like the sun was the most likely place for life to emerge.”

If you throw out the assumption that we need a sun-like star, though, then there’s a whole new class of stars—smaller and less powerful than the sun, but far more common—that suddenly start to look like good candidates. They’re called low mass stars.

Although these stars throw out less light and heat than our powerful sun, they still emit enough to create potentially habitable zones that could support liquid water on close-orbiting rocky planets. Not only are these types of stars more common in the universe than sun-like stars, but they also have much considerably longer lifespans of more than 1,000 times that of the sun.

Using this information, Loeb calculated that it was much more likely for life to have emerged in the distant future around one of those low mass stars than to have emerged in our time on a sun-orbiting planet like Earth.

“If you allow low mass stars to have life, just like we find here on Earth, then the probability of life emerging in the future 10 trillion years from now is one thousand times bigger to find life,” noted Loeb.

And yet, we are not orbiting a low mass star, trillions of years in the future. We are here and now, orbiting our Sun—and this is the only place we’ve ever found sentient life. That suggests an intriguing explanation. Perhaps we are simply searching way too soon.

In other words, we may be alone in the universe right now. But that’s only because we showed up long before life really started to get going. If this hypothesis is the correct one, then the real explosion of life in the universe hasn’t yet happened—and likely won’t happen for trillions of years after us.

There’s also a second, alternate explanation that would account for all the facts. Perhaps there’s something about low mass stars which, even in zones that are technically habitable, suppresses life from ever forming.

“We still keep the notion that, perhaps, we are at the center of the biological universe, that we are really the only ones or special in that regard, or in terms of intelligence,” Loeb said. “If it turns out that we are rare and early on in the game then that would be really surprising to me because, so far, whenever we look we have found that we are not special and we are not the center of the universe.”

Figuring out which of these two possibilities are correct hinges on the question of whether low mass stars can indeed support life. We won’t necessarily have to wait several trillions of years to find out, though. Instead, Loeb suggests that the answers could be found in the next decade or so.

By sampling the atmospheres of planets around nearby low mass stars, researchers can search for biomarkers that would suggest whether these planets are capable of supporting life. If they keep finding atmospheres devoid of signs that they are capable of supporting life, then it’s likely that something about these low mass stars—perhaps their frequent solar flares or some other attribute—renders the planets orbiting them sterile.

If, however, they find that these planets do appear able to support life then it may be that the lack of other life in the universe is simply because we showed up too soon to see any of it.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Riders of the Well of Death

A personal project shot in northern India. It's a short documentary about stunt drivers taking part in the daredevil sport known as "Maut ka kuan" (Well of Death).

The men risking everything for the thrill of the ride

Director Erik Morales of filmmaking collective Canada talks about Riders of the Well of Death, a film documenting stunt drivers taking part in the daredevil sport in Northern India:

“When people ask why I made this film my answer is always, ‘because it’s cars driving on the fucking walls!’ The well of death (or Maut ka kuan) is an incredible mix of acrobatics and sheer engine power, where the brave defy gravity and drive cars and bikes on the walls of a wooden pit. These arenas are a popular attraction at travelling fairs, where the tickets are cheap and the crowds are plenty. Viewers watch the action from a metal platform above the pit, while the magic unfolds beneath them—the riders, the cars, the bikes, the lights and the noise.

“It’s cars driving on the fucking walls!”
“I still remember the first time I saw this live. The show lasts for a few minutes but the experience you live through is intense. I was blown away by these guys who were risking their lives in this wooden pit—it was pure adrenaline. The purity of the riders fighting the laws of nature with these old vehicles and immense amounts of courage was what made me want to do this film; I wanted to know these ordinary guys who risk it all to do extraordinary things.”

Thanks Seth!

Monday, August 15, 2016

School of Life Monday
HISTORY OF IDEAS - Romanticism

Romanticism is a historical movement that still hugely colours how we tend to feel and look at the world: it’s responsible for the way we approach love, nature, business and children. This is its history

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Sunday Think Tank:
Noam Chomsky's 8-Point Rationale for Voting for the Lesser Evil Presidential Candidate

Critics of "lesser evil voting" should consider that their footing on the high ground may not be as secure as they often take for granted.

By John Halle [1], Noam Chomsky [2] / Noam Chomsky's Official Site [3]
August 6, 2016

Among the elements of the weak form of democracy enshrined in the constitution, presidential elections continue to pose a dilemma for the left in that any form of participation or non participation appears to impose a significant cost on our capacity to develop a serious opposition to the corporate agenda served by establishment politicians. The position outlined below is that which many regard as the most effective response to this quadrennial Hobson’s choice, namely the so-called “lesser evil” voting strategy or LEV. Simply put, LEV involves, where you can, i.e. in safe states, voting for the losing third party candidate you prefer, or not voting at all. In competitive “swing” states, where you must, one votes for the “lesser evil” Democrat.

Before fielding objections, it will be useful to make certain background stipulations with respect to the points below. The first is to note that since changes in the relevant facts require changes in tactics, proposals having to do with our relationship to the “electoral extravaganza” should be regarded as provisional. This is most relevant with respect to point 3) which some will challenge by citing the claim that Clinton’s foreign policy could pose a more serious menace than that of Trump.

In any case, while conceding as an outside possibility that Trump’s foreign policy is preferable, most of us not already convinced that that is so will need more evidence than can be aired in a discussion involving this statement. Furthermore, insofar as this is the fact of the matter, following the logic through seems to require a vote for Trump, though it’s a bit hard to know whether those making this suggestion are intending it seriously.

Another point of disagreement is not factual but involves the ethical/moral principle addressed in 1), sometimes referred to as the “politics of moral witness.” Generally associated with the religious left, secular leftists implicitly invoke it when they reject LEV on the grounds that “a lesser of two evils is still evil.” Leaving aside the obvious rejoinder that this is exactly the point of lesser evil voting-i.e. to do less evil, what needs to be challenged is the assumption that voting should be seen a form of individual self-expression rather than as an act to be judged on its likely consequences, specifically those outlined in 4). The basic moral principle at stake is simple: not only must we take responsibility for our actions, but the consequences of our actions for others are a far more important consideration than feeling good about ourselves.

While some would suggest extending the critique by noting that the politics of moral witness can become indistinguishable from narcissistic self-agrandizement, this is substantially more harsh than what was intended and harsher than what is merited. That said, those reflexively denouncing advocates of LEV on a supposed “moral” basis should consider that their footing on the high ground may not be as secure as they often take for granted to be the case.

A third criticism of LEV equates it with a passive acquiescence to the bipartisan status quo under the guise of pragmatism, usually deriving from those who have lost the appetite for radical change. It is surely the case that some of those endorsing LEV are doing so in bad faith-cynical functionaries whose objective is to promote capitulation to a system which they are invested in protecting. Others supporting LEV, however, can hardly be reasonably accused of having made their peace with the establishment. Their concern, as alluded to in 6) and 7) inheres in the awareness that frivolous and poorly considered electoral decisions impose a cost, their memories extending to the ultra-left faction of the peace movement having minimized the comparative dangers of the Nixon presidency during the 1968 elections. The result was six years of senseless death and destruction in Southeast Asia and also a predictable fracture of the left setting it up for its ultimate collapse during the backlash decades to follow.

The broader lesson to be drawn is not to shy away from confronting the dominance of the political system under the management of the two major parties. Rather, challenges to it need to be issued with a full awareness of their possible consequences. This includes the recognition that far right victories not only impose terrible suffering on the most vulnerable segments of society but also function as a powerful weapon in the hands of the establishment center, which, now in opposition can posture as the “reasonable” alternative. A Trump presidency, should it materialize, will undermine the burgeoning movement centered around the Sanders campaign, particularly if it is perceived as having minimized the dangers posed by the far right.

A more general conclusion to be derived from this recognition is that this sort of cost/benefit strategic accounting is fundamental to any politics which is serious about radical change. Those on the left who ignore it, or dismiss it as irrelevant are engaging in political fantasy and are an obstacle to, rather than ally of, the movement which now seems to be materializing.

Finally, it should be understood that the reigning doctrinal system recognizes the role presidential elections perform in diverting the left from actions which have the potential to be effective in advancing its agenda. These include developing organizations committed to extra-political means, most notably street protest, but also competing for office in potentially winnable races. The left should devote the minimum of time necessary to exercise the LEV choice then immediately return to pursuing goals which are not timed to the national electoral cycle.


1) Voting should not be viewed as a form of personal self-expression or moral judgement directed in retaliation towards major party candidates who fail to reflect our values, or of a corrupt system designed to limit choices to those acceptable to corporate elites.

2) The exclusive consequence of the act of voting in 2016 will be (if in a contested “swing state”) to marginally increase or decrease the chance of one of the major party candidates winning.

3) One of these candidates, Trump, denies the existence of global warming, calls for increasing use of fossil fuels, dismantling of environmental regulations and refuses assistance to India and other developing nations as called for in the Paris agreement, the combination of which could, in four years, take us to a catastrophic tipping point. Trump has also pledged to deport 11 million Mexican immigrants, offered to provide for the defense of supporters who have assaulted African American protestors at his rallies, stated his “openness to using nuclear weapons”, supports a ban on Muslims entering the U.S. and regards “the police in this country as absolutely mistreated and misunderstood” while having “done an unbelievable job of keeping law and order.” Trump has also pledged to increase military spending while cutting taxes on the rich, hence shredding what remains of the social welfare “safety net” despite pretenses.

4) The suffering which these and other similarly extremist policies and attitudes will impose on marginalized and already oppressed populations has a high probability of being significantly greater than that which will result from a Clinton presidency.

5) 4) should constitute sufficient basis to voting for Clinton where a vote is potentially consequential-namely, in a contested, “swing” state.

6) However, the left should also recognize that, should Trump win based on its failure to support Clinton, it will repeatedly face the accusation (based in fact), that it lacks concern for those sure to be most victimized by a Trump administration.

7) Often this charge will emanate from establishment operatives who will use it as a bad faith justification for defeating challenges to corporate hegemony either in the Democratic Party or outside of it. They will ensure that it will be widely circulated in mainstream media channels with the result that many of those who would otherwise be sympathetic to a left challenge will find it a convincing reason to maintain their ties with the political establishment rather than breaking with it, as they must.

8) Conclusion: by dismissing a “lesser evil” electoral logic and thereby increasing the potential for Clinton’s defeat the left will undermine what should be at the core of what it claims to be attempting to achieve.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Last Bookstore in downtown Los Angeles is a cool, huge indy bookstore

via Boing Boing:

This short documentary focuses on the life of Josh Spencer, owner and operator of “The Last Bookstore”, located in Downtown Los Angeles. Against the closure of massive bookstore chains and the rise of eReaders, Josh has been able to create a local resurgence of the printed word. We explore his life as a father, husband, small business owner, and paraplegic, as well as the store’s magnetic attraction of the community.

Monday, August 8, 2016

School of Life Monday:
LITERATURE - James Joyce

James Joyce deserves our ongoing interest for his momentous discovery of the Stream of Consciousness.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Free Range Happy Humane Meat (MUST SEE Factory-Farms by MFA),,,,,,,,, (Dietitians), (Drs),,,,,,, (HELP),,

With Human Overpopulation (, we can never provide for 7.5 BILLION (who each eat about 30-60 animals a year) and is far from free of suffering. Simplly leave animals alone and go vegan. 98% of chickens/birds/eggs/pigs come from Factory-Farms (Make Hunting seem nice and slaughter is far from the worst part). Unless if you know the facility don't trust them who care about profits first, plus little regulation and less enforcement.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Skydiver Luke Aikins Sets Record For Highest Jump Without Parachute

From NPR:

Luke Aikins on Saturday became the first skydiver to jump from a plane without a parachute or wingsuit and live to tell the story.

In a stunt called "Heaven Sent," the 42-year-old daredevil leaped 25,000 feet to Earth — setting a world record. To accomplish this feat, Aikins had to direct his body in free fall using only the air currents around him to land safely on the high-tech 10,000-square-foot net (about a third the size of a football field) laid out to catch him.

You can see him breaking down his jump ahead of time right here:

The jump was aired live on television via the Fox network during an hourlong special. Aikins fell for about two minutes above the California desert, appearing to soar effortlessly, arms extended, face downward. And as he neared the ground, with a mere second to go, he expertly flipped onto his back and landed without incident.

He then climbed out of the net and embraced his wife, Monica, who was among a cheering group of family and friends, including their 4-year-old son, Aikins' dad, two brothers and a sister, who'd all anxiously watched the breathtaking spectacle.

Aikins, who said during the broadcast that he'd been preparing for this jump for two years, had previously done 18,000 parachute jumps and performed a variety of stunts, including for Iron Man 3.

"Everyone is calling this my 'coming-out jump,' which is ironic considering I've been skydiving since the age of 16," he said in a press release prior to the jump.

In fact, Aikins, whose grandfather co-founded a skydiving school after serving in World War II, is a third-generation skydiver. The family owns Skydive Kapowsin near Tacoma, Wash.

See that tiny speck at the top of the frame? That's Aikins, just a moment before he makes contact with the net beneath him.
Mark Davis/Getty Images for Stride Gum.

And here's the shot just a second after, as Aikins lands safely in the net.
Mark Davis/Getty Images for Stride Gum

Now here's your closeup: After his two-minute free fall, Aikins successfully lands in the 100-by-100-foot net at the Big Sky Ranch in Simi Valley, Calif., on Saturday.
Mondelez International via AP
Further to his credit, Aikins is a safety and training adviser for the United States Parachute Association (USPA), where he provides advanced skydiving training to elite military special forces.

Early in the broadcast of "Heaven Sent," there was almost a change in the script that might have taken away a tad of the excitement around Aikins' jump.

According to The Associated Press, "Just before climbing into a plane to make the jump, Aikins said he had been ordered to wear a parachute but indicated he wouldn't open it. As the plane was climbing to 25,000 feet above the drop zone he said the requirement had been lifted and he took off the chute."

Thursday, August 4, 2016

A must watch:
AdBusters editor Micah White interviewed

How do we recognize the mental toxins in our world that fight against being truly human?

Adbusters editor Micah White says we must "celebrate a new aesthetic that cherishes subsistence over surplus, local over national and play over work." The myth of consumerism is that 'more is better'. "But to this lie, we will with great strength respond that only by consuming less can we live more."

Filmed at Q:

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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Junk Thought

Written and narrated by Adbusters editor Micah White, this video was animated and produced by

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Bernie Flag mash up - REVENGE

I found this on the internet the other day - always a fan of a good parody...

bonus: Bernie explains what's next last friday after the DNC convention:

Monday, August 1, 2016

School of Life Monday:
PHILOSOPHY - Blaise Pascal

The French 17th century philosopher Blaise Pascal is one of the world’s great pessimists- with an unusual power to cheer us up.